UMaine Rolls Out $110-Million Athletic Facilities Plan
Photo courtesy of WABI TV5 and the Twitter Page of Brittany McHatten
*You can view the plan's state-of-the-art renderings, here.
The University of Maine has unveiled it's $110-million master plan to provide modern facilities for all 17 varsity programs.
In October, the school received $90-million in funding from the Harold Alfond Foundation as part of a $240-million investment in the University of Maine System.
"We are going to build outstanding athletic facilities to support our Black Bear athletes and students and youth from all over the state," said UMaine President Joan Ferrini-Mundy.
"For many years our athletes have been performing in outdated and even crumbling, cramped facilities. Thanks to the generosity of the Alfond Foundation and support from university leadership, we will be able to provide the quality of facilities necessary for our Black Bears to compete on a national level," said UMaine Director of Athletics Ken Ralph.
"We are also using this opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to equity and to show our dedication to making Orono the go-to destination for sports in Maine for athletes of all ages," added Ralph. "Our students, our fans, and the local community have waited a long time for these improvements, and we are excited to get started."
Phase One of the 10-year master plan includes building the UMaine Soccer Stadium, a modern sport-specific facility for women's soccer, as well as other gender equity facilities.
An overview of the facilities master plan:
- Construction of the UMaine Multipurpose Center, which will serve as the new on-campus home of men's and women's basketball. The new arena will also serve as home for team and administrative offices, as well as the new home for Bear Necessities Fan Shop.
- A new on-campus dome, a 100,000-square foot facility equipped with a complete 100-yard turf field and a 300-meter track. The plan also includes a second newly built dome which includes 60% more space than the current Mahaney Dome.
- Renovations to the Memorial Gymnasium, including upgrading Wallace Pool, upgraded amenities for the swimming and diving team and "extensive additions to the internal branding of the building."
- A new football multipurpose center, set to close off the end-zone nearest to the parking lots. Alfond Stadium will also receive new turf and have the bleachers tightened closer to the field. The multipurpose center will include new locker rooms and coaches offices for the football program, as well as a new strength and condition center for all athletes.
- Significant upgrades to Alfond Arena, "including a new enlarged entryway and concourse area, the installation of high definition video and ribbon boards, a new sound system, and upgraded Wi-Fi and television production services."
- Expansion of the Shawn Walsh Hockey Center, including new locker rooms for both the men's and women's programs.
UMaine has partnered with JLG Architects and expect small upgrades to begin this summer before beginning construction on new facilities in the summer of 2022.
The University is continuing to raise the initial $20-million as part of the larger $110-million plan.
*Ken Ralph joins The Drive today at 5 p.m. to detail the exciting new plans for Maine athletics.